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Chronicles Of The Canongate
by Walter Scott
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Set within a framing narrative, these three stories take place in the years following the Jacobite defeat and feature characters who are leaving Scotland to seek their fortunes elsewhere. In two of Walter Scott's best-known tales, The Highland Widow and The Two Drovers, two young men are torn between traditional Scottish loyalties and the opportunities offered by England. The Surgeon's Daughter follows three young Scots to India during the first years of the British Empire. All three highlight Scott's unique gift for re-creating the spirit of historical eras and painting stirring portraits of Scottish people.
This indeed was the feeling with which she was regarded by the Highlanders in the neighbourhood, who looked upon Elspat MacTavish, or the Woman of the Tree, as they called her, as the Greeks considered those who were pursued by the Furies, and endured the mental torment consequent on great criminal actions. They regarded such unhappy beings as Orestes and OEdipus, as being less the voluntary perpetrators of their crimes than as the passive instruments by which the terrible decrees of Destiny had been accomplished; and the fear with which they beheld them was not unmingled with veneration.
About the Author
Claire Lamont is senior lecturer in English Literature, University of Newcastle.
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